A beautiful area of the city that we have not dissected yet is Harlem. I don’t know why, but that’s about to change as this part of town is thriving and bustling with fabulous restaurants, parks, and so much more that can easily make it the next part of the city that you need to spend at. One case in point is Corner Social, which is conveniently located right off the 2/3 line at 125th Street and Lenox. Here’s why you need to head to this fantastic spot.
Two weeks ago, I visited Corner Social with my friend Matt for brunch and catching up on things. It was then that I realized just how fantastic this place really is. Lenox Avenue itself has developed such a beauty to it, with gorgeous housing on either side of the streets, and Corner Social adds to this beauty with a great outdoor dining spot and the interior reading somewhat if an elevator sports bar and dining spot had a baby. It’s very visually appealing on the eyes, and the food we had that particular day was quite delicious (I had their Chicken Wings and Waffles– yes, you heard right, WINGS! Scrumptious and filling all in one).
There is a different vibe in Harlem compared to the other parts of the city. Areas like Midtown East and more tend to die out at a certain part of the night, whereas Harlem still sticks with the philosophy of “the city that never sleeps”. Anytime of day you pass by Corner Social, you get a vibe that is truly awoken, friendly and inviting, something that other parts of the city really don’t have. I experienced this both times when I visited two weeks ago, and then a couple of days back to do some further “reviewing”.
Corner Social has been open for five years, which is an accomplishment for any Manhattan establishment. They pride themselves on contemporary American cuisine and warm hospitality, two aspects that I happen to love in a setting like this. Their upbeat and fun General Manager, Raphael, sat down and discussed his love for Corner Social, with everything from the changing menu items to the professionalism for his staff and so much more. When a GM cares like he does, it makes the experience for all that much better. Especially in an environment like this.
Their dinner menu is one page, consisting of appetizers, burgers and entrees. Simple, which I also prefer as menus sometimes can seem like a book instead of a simple list of items to choose from. Chef Elpidio Escamilla blends American cuisine incredibly well on his menu, where modern meets Harlem history showcases his versatility in the execution of what he is trying to accomplish.
Here is what i recommend you trying, the next time you are at Corner Social. If you are a salad kind of person, then their Corner Social Salad will do the trick. Made of Mixed Greens, Cucumbers, Corn, Diced Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella and a Balsamic Lemon Dressing, this salad is fantastic for the summer time as it is light and fresh but packs a punch with all of the flavors inside of it.
Moving onto their entrees, I would recommend one fish and one meat option to try and share at your next experience. Their Chicken Picatta was reminiscent of how my mother used to make it, as the flavor extraction from the sauce itself was quite delicious. This came with Sauteed French Beans, Roasted Red Potatoes and Mushrooms. Classic dish that is hearty and filling and great for a chilly night.
The fish option was their Pangasius Filet of Fish with Shrimp, on a bed of Garlic Spinach, Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms in a White Wine Tomato Sage Sauce. The latter option is a little more complex than the Picatta with all of its ingredients, yet they marry each other very well and you are practically swimming in their tasty Sage Sauce which ultimately completes the dish itself.
Overall, Corner Social gets it right with ambiance, attitude, professionalism and some damn good food. This place is definitely a reason to head uptown. For more information on Corner Social, please check out their official website.